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Have you ever wondered how to cheer yourself up? If so, you're not alone. The good news is that just asking the question proves you're ready to learn how to self-soothe. While many think of this term in regards to a baby crying herself to sleep without a caregiver’s help, it’s a skill that tends to come in handy at any age… with some modifications, of course.
Why is it important to be able to self-soothe?
Certainly, there are people in our lives who can brighten our day and add some joy to our lives. However, it's imperative that we also know how to practice self-care and cheer ourselves up. After all, not everyone can drop what they are doing at a moment’s notice to make us feel better. It’s not their job, even if they want to do it.
Equally important is being comfortable and content with whom you are. You are a valuable human being and make a contribution to this this world, be it large or small.
You also need to learn to keep negative thoughts at bay… while it can be extremely difficult at times, it is also unnecessary. The best practice is to acknowledge the negative or “bad” thoughts, and then move forward without remaining stuck in those thoughts.
33 Quick Ways to Cheer Yourself up When You Feel Down
Now that we’ve discussed how important taking care of yourself is, are you ready to be your own biggest fan and cheerleader? Are you ready to discover some great ideas for how to cheer yourself up? If so, let’s stop wasting time!
1. Spend time with a pet.
If you have a pet, you already know that these innocent creatures can always bring some joy to our day. Cuddle up with your kitten, or take your pooch for a walk. Their happiness and peace is infectious.
If you don't have a pet, you can enjoy watching some videos of kittens or puppies online.
2. Actively practice gratitude.
There is science behind the connection between happiness and feeling gratitude. When you express and acknowledge gratitude, you have better health, increased productivity, and more meaningful relationships.
To experience all of the benefits of gratitude, all you need to do is sit down and make a list of all of the things for which you're grateful. Then, you can reflect on the fact that there is probably much more good about your life than negative.
If you want to really dig into gratitude, write out a list of gratitude affirmations you can say aloud when needed.
3. Organize a problem area in your home.
Marie Kondo was onto something when she titled her book with the word “happiness” in reference to tidying up. Most people can't fail to feel a little better when they've tidied up a problem spot in their homes.
Besides feeling good about things being tidier, you'll also enjoy a feeling of accomplishment. What's not to love about that?
4. Plan a vacation.
Did you know that just the act of planning a vacation can be rejuvenating? Create a wish list on Airbnb, build some vacation Pinterest boards, or do some virtual tours of various locations around the world.
5. Learn something new.
Learning new skills can pay off big-time, both professionally and personally. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to learn something new today.
Whether you want to learn a whole new skillset, speak a new language, or just teach yourself how to edit your snapshots, learning something new takes the focus off of your struggles and redirects your mental activity.
6. Do something creative.
There are countless ways you can be creative, and you don't have to be an artist or a professional writer to get started.
One thing you can do immediately is to start adult coloring. You can find free coloring pages online or buy an adult coloring book and some colored pencils.
Other ways to be creative are dancing, singing, drawing, or writing.
7. Release some endorphins with exercise.
The physical act of exercising is beneficial for more than just our bodies. As it turns out, when we exercise, our bodies release endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that serve to trigger positive feelings.
You don't have to run a marathon to get those endorphins going, either. A walk outside or even some stretching exercises at your desk can give you a quick mood lift.
8. Explore ideas for new hobbies.
Just like planning a vacation makes your trip seem like a reality, exploring the idea of new hobbies feels proactive, too.
It's not necessary to actually start your new hobby today. Just go over some hobby idea articles (here are some for men and women), and jot down some you think you would enjoy. Then do some internet research to see what it takes to start your new hobby.
9. Get some vitamin D.
Scientific studies have demonstrated that vitamin D is one of nature's best mood boosters.
While you can take vitamin D supplements, a quick and easy way to get some beneficial vitamin D is to get outside and enjoy a little bit of sunlight.
10. Dance like no one is watching.
While dancing is a form of exercise, it's also lots of fun. A study conducted on people suffering from anxiety disorder showed that participating in a dance class greatly reduced their anxiety.
11. Recite helpful affirmations.
The bottom line is that affirmations work when you take full advantage of them, and this is backed by science. An affirmation is a positive statement that you direct at yourself to achieve positive change, self-soothe, and show yourself some love.
One example of a great affirmation is simply “I can do it.” Another affirmation you can recite is, “I am divinely guided and protected at all times.
12. Connect with an old friend.
You can call an old friend on the phone or just start a text conversation. Either way, reminiscing over good times will bring some joy to both your day and theirs.
13. Learn to be mindful.
We live in a stressful and busy world, and sometimes that's all it takes to bring us down emotionally. One thing that can help with that is practicing mindfulness.
To be more mindful, learn how to be present at the moment. When you try to focus on too many things at once, you miss out on the full experience of whatever you're doing.
14. Meditate for a few minutes.
Meditation is an excellent tool for cheering yourself up because it encourages you to be “in the moment.”
Best of all, you can meditate from anywhere by just closing your eyes and breathing deeply for a couple of minutes. For some physical activity, try a walking meditation outside.
15. Escape into someone else's story.
Reading is an amazing way to escape for a bit and takes the focus off of whatever is bothering you.
You can immerse yourself in a memoir and learn about someone's true story or read a novel. Also, be sure to check out some excellent short stories online or on your e-reader.
16. Dig into some comfort food.
When you're feeling down, there's no better time to indulge yourself a little with good food. The more comforting the food is, the better.
We don't blame you one bit if you go for some good-quality chocolate, either.
17. Crawl under the sheets.
Sometimes when we're feeling down, we are just tired. If you can take the time to do so, go enjoy a nap or head to bed early.
A new day will bring you a new start and you may wake up feeling refreshed and renewed.
18. Practice breathwork.
When you're feeling down or anxious, practicing breathwork can give you much-needed relief. Breathwork is any type of breathing technique or exercise that is done with intention.
Studies show that breathwork can profoundly affect your mood, and breathwork can even relieve stress.
19. Pull out your old photo albums.
The author Philip Zimbardo wrote in his book The New Psychology of Time that people who frequently reminisce about the positive events that have occurred in their lives are happier overall.
This doesn't mean that anyone should become stuck in the past. However, revisiting happy memories can give you a mood boost.
20. Spend some time with your journal.
Of course, you can also use a journal to draw or write down your thoughts.
21. Shut down ruminating.
When you ruminate, you essentially replay negative or hurtful events over and over in your mind. If you find yourself ruminating, do whatever it takes to shift your focus to more positive thoughts.
To escape ruminating, refocus your attention on something else as soon as you feel a negative thought coming on.
22. Dig in the dirt.
Gardening serves so many purposes. In addition to feeding you (if you grow veggies), gardening is great exercise.
Getting outside and digging in the dirt is a great activity for lots of different reasons.
23. Itemize your accomplishments.
No doubt you have accomplishments that you're proud of. Maybe you've enjoyed a successful career, or perhaps you've raised children who are productive and happy human beings.
Whatever your accomplishments are, list them out in your journal or even a note on your phone. You will quickly remember just how amazing you are, and this will certainly make you feel happier.
24. Read some powerful quotes.
Reading other people's wise words can help you overcome a lot of the problems faced in life.
25. Give back with volunteerism.
Giving back to others has a huge effect on your own psyche. If you can find a way to volunteer, you'll be ahead of the pack in learning how to self-soothe in a productive way.
Volunteerism doesn't have to be a full-time job. For example, you can sign up with your local animal shelter to help them socialize kittens and puppies. Then, just drop in when you need a quick pick-me-up.
26. Buy yourself some flowers.
Few things light up a room like a bouquet of fresh flowers. Don't wait for someone else to buy them for you. You can gift them to yourself.
27. Sing your heart out.
Is it possible to feel down when you're singing? It probably depends on the song. The benefits of music for your mood are proven by science.
It's a great idea to have a YouTube or Spotify list of songs that pick you up when you're feeling low.
28. Put an end to catastrophic thinking.
While everyone has negative thoughts sometimes, catastrophic thinking is an exaggerated version of negative thinking. In short, people who get caught up in catastrophic thinking are often making a mountain out of a molehill.
If you're prone to catastrophic thinking, recognizing the signs and knowing how to stop it can make a huge difference in your quality of life.
29. Medicate yourself with the best medicine: laughter.
The benefits of laughter are well-documented, and when they say laughter is the best medicine, it's not far off.
For some quick humor, you can watch funny YouTube videos or even enjoy a funny movie. If you can't do screen-time, read some jokes or funny stories online.
30. Cozy up to your partner.
If you're in a romantic relationship, enjoying intimacy with your partner can be a great way to help both of you feel better.
Whether you want to spend the afternoon in bed or just hold hands while watching TV, you'll benefit from closeness with your intimate partner.
31. Contemplate your life purpose.
It can be easy to get caught up in whatever is going on in the moment. However, if we can stop and contemplate our life purpose, this contemplation can sometimes help us to remember that there is a bigger purpose at play than how we feel right now.
If you've not found your true purpose, or if you're wanting to re-evaluate your life's purpose, check out these examples to find out where you need to go with your life.
32. Pull up some cheerful memes.
Sometimes a couple of silly images can pull you out of the doldrums. Who can look at memes with sloths, baby pigs, or llamas and not feel instantly better?
You can keep a folder with the memes that cheer you up on your computer's desktop. If it helps, put some in your phone's image library, too.
33. Create a bucket list.
One way to really gain some perspective on your life is to create a list of things you want to do during your lifetime. A bucket list can help you define what is truly important to you and bring the focus back to your future, not the depressing present.
Final Thoughts on Cheering Yourself up When You're Down
Knowing how to self-soothe is a basic life skill that isn't difficult to cultivate once you have a few tools in your arsenal. We are born knowing how to self-soothe, but it's easy to fall into the trap of relying on others to cheer us up when we're down.
Now that you know tons of different ways to cheer yourself up, you're ready to tackle even the toughest days. Learning how to self-soothe is one of the most valuable investments you'll ever make in yourself.
For more amazing ways to invest in yourself and engage in “me time”, check out our article on How to Invest in Yourself: 33 Ways to Change Your Life’s Potential. You won’t be disappointed!